Tag / loh-mee
Earlier this month on the 1st of September 2015, Malaysian Airlines officially welcomed the start of its new company Malaysia Airlines Berhad. As with many of you, my first ever flying experience was with our national carrier, with what has happened in the past 18 months or so, I personally felt that this is a significant step to the right direction for the company to once again proudly graze the Malaysian skyline.
Flying with Malaysia Airlines Berhad on the first day of business
Together with a few other writers, I was invited to take a short day trip with the new MAB to Penang.
To be honest, last I flew back to Penang was almost two decades ago when I took a flight (and was upgraded to business class, my first business class experience!) back to my hometown, down with dengue.
To commemorate the occasion, the customers on this particular flight was given a cute little pilot bear.
Malaysian Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller on Sept 1st, 2015
The CEO of Malaysian Airlines Berhad, Christoph Mueller, was on location to make sure everything runs smoothly, and to salute the aircraft before we take off, it was a proper sent off, albeit only to a location 45 mins away.
breakfast at 1997 kopitiam, Paya Terubong, Penang
Upon touch down in the Pearl of the Orient, we first took care of the most important business – breakfast!
We headed to Paya Terubong and jumped right into 1997 kopitiam. The restaurant is named after the year in which it was established. To be fair, I’ve never been here (as I left Penang in 1996 for college).
The loh mee I ordered turned out to be more than satisfying, I particularly love the super spicy sambal. and of course the availability of those soft & smooth pork skin didn’t hurt at all. The char kuih teow we shared was pretty decent, and kuih teow soup received positive remarks too. It was a pretty good start of the day.
heading up to Penang Hill
After breakfast, we went up to the highest peak of the island – Penang Hill.
There are two ways to head up to the hill – by the new & improved cable car from Ayer Itam, or use the Number 11 bus (your 2 legs) and walk your way up from the road next to Botanical Garden. Of course, we chose the easy way up.
Not to be outdone by Paris’ love locks, Penang Hill has our very own section of the same thing too, I found it pretty cute. If you didn’t bring your own locks, they’ve got a stall manned with traders who are quite eager to sell you a few models of locks, rather enterprising.
the old cannon’s still there, but the cable car is now much faster
I walked up to the highest peak and made sure to take a photo next to the cannon, reminiscing a similar picture taken at the same spot when I went up there with classmates at the age of 10 or so, time flies man.
Oh, make sure you take the lowest car on the way down, the faster speed makes for quite a pretty thrilling ride, I love it.
the famous Ayer Itam asam laksa
After Penang Hill, it was time for lunch, and since we were already at Ayer Itam, the famous laksa right next to the morning market made for an obvious choice.
I’ve had this laksa from when it was sold for RM 1 per bowl, and glad to say that it still tastes the same as it was from decades ago. Check out this old blog post of the place from almost 10 years back.
Fort Cornwallis, where Sir Francis Light first stepped foot on Penang
Fort Cornwallis was our next destination. This was the place where Sir Francis Light, the founder of modern Penang first set up camp on the island. The historical site isn’t overly interesting to be perfectly honest, but if you’re hungry (unfortunately we weren’t), the mee sotong at the adjacent food court is excellent.
Peranakan Mansion, I’ve never been to this place even though I’m from Penang
We then moved to Peranakan Mansion, a typical mansion for affluent Baba & Nyonya from a century ago. This mansion was super impressive and definitely worth every sen of the entrance fee. There are over 1000 pieces of antique & collectibles on display. I am quite embarrassed to be a Penangite who only stepped foot in this building for the first time.
If you go to Penang, be sure to pay a visit to this place.
Masjid India, the oldest mosque in Penang, and the nasi kandar next to it
Continuing the tour of Georgetown, our Muslim tour-mates took the opportunity to pray at the oldest mosque on the island – Masjid India.
As for the rest of us, it was an excuse for nasi kandar. I had nasi tomato from the Nasi Kandar Masjid stall (next to the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur which opens only at night). As with most nasi kandar in Penang, the curry was thick and flavorful, but it didn’t have as much umph as I had wanted, I guess I expected just a bit more.
Penang road cendol and rojak
For tea break, we headed to Penang road to have some cendol. There are two stalls operating across the road from each other, and to be honest, they both tasted as good as each other. Some may argue that one is “definitely better”, but I can’t tell.
Oh, the rojak is pretty good as well.
a visit to Chew Jetty before we head back to KL
Chew Jetty was our last destination before heading back to the airport. The famous residential jetty now has about half the houses converted to make-shirt shops of sort. In a way it was perhaps slightly less charming? I don’t really know what to make up of it.
My grandparents stay very close to one of these jetties at Weld Quay, so as a kid I used to roam around the different jetties with no shoes, carelessly side stepping open nails and barely secured planks. There was definitely a sense of nostalgia.
Oh, by the way, I also tapao 10 packs of laksa back to KL, and happy to report that airport security did not think it was a bad idea. 😀
Best of luck, Malaysian Airlines!
For many prawn mee and loh mee fans out there who used to frequent Choon prawn mee stall at O&S, here’s their new location just a few shops down the road.
Choon Prawn Mee at the new location (same row as O&S)
Yeap, the stall at O&S is now taken over by another operator (reportedly not nearly as delicious), so if you want to get the familiar taste, here’s where you have to go. The new place is air conditioned, slightly more expensive, and much more comfortable compared to O&S.
Additionally, opening hours are longer as well.
Penang style lor mee, pork intestines extra
In addition to prawn mee and loh mee (starting from RM 6.50) with all sorts of extra ingredients such as extra prawns, intestine, pig tail, ribs, and squid, the shop also offers other dishes such as kuih teow th’ng (yet to try), toast, nasi lemak, chee cheong fun, and so forth.
well satisfied with my breakfast of lor mee
For my visit, I went for my favorite – Penang loh mee.
For those who aren’t familiar with Penang version of lor mee, it is pretty similar to prawn mee, but in addition to prawn, bean sprout, fried shallot, and sliced pork, there’s usually half a hard boiled egg, minced garlic sauce, and of course, those thick startchy broth.
The version here is as good as any, and the extra RM 2 I paid for those intestine was well worth it. Now I feel like I want to have a bowl with all the extras!
Choon Prawn Mee
13 Jalan 20/14, Taman Paramount
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.106983, 101.625309
Tel: 012-265 8193
Hours: 7am to 4pm (Mon-Sat), 7am to 4.30pm (Sat/Sun/public holiday)
Having spent most of my time in KL and Penang, it is easy to have a false sense of perception on how much street food costs. A “standard” plate of hawker dish is supposed to be around RM 4.50 or RM 5.00, no?
Then we went to Sitiawan.
hawker center at Sitiawan wet market
This was a day trip I took earlier this year with Suanie via Kuala Selangor (where we stumbled upon the famous Cendol Bakar).
Not knowing where to eat at Sitiawan, we stopped by the wet marker in the afternoon and was happy to see the food stall in operation. A closer look revealed that most dishes are priced at RM 2.80 per serving!
loh mee & “kan lau” mee
I ordered the loh mee while Suan had a plate of their “kan lau” mee. They also serve asam laksa, wantan mee, and clear soup noodle at the same price.
My loh mee was actually rather delicious. It came with a lot of bamboo shoots which I love, and the starchy soup base was flavorful. Suan’s kan lau mee came with a few slices of charsiu, while they’re not exactly very good quality charsiu, it still made a decent plate of brunch.
Suan and KY enjoying tea time
If you’re around Lumut or Sitiawan looking for a place for late lunch/tea time snack, this is one of the places to check out and stay within budget. 😀
Kg. Koh Wet Market
GPS: 4.216096, 100.697822
Tua Pek Kong temple at Sitiawan
Oh, we also went to perhaps one of the only tourist attractions at Sitiawan – the Tua Pek Kong temple at Jalan Psasir Panjang.
The temple is located by the coast and spots some pretty impressive statues facing the Melaccan straits. There’s also a path where you can walk into the swamp area, a koi pond with loads of fish, and a beautiful garden there.
Like most temple in Malaysia, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to visit.
Tua Pek Kong Temple
Jalan Pasir Panjang,
GPS: 4.163129, 100.688397
On my last trip back to Penang, I caught up with my sister for late lunch, and since she is a lot more well versed with Penang food than me (not having stayed on the island the past 20 years), I naturally asked her to suggest a place.
We ended up at Hai Beng kopitiam for some good old fashion Hainan Lor Mee (卤面)
Hai Beng kopitiam at Pulau Tikus, Penang
Situated at the junction of Jones Road and Burma Road, Hai Beng kopitiam is a typical Chinese run coffee shop that serves breakfast and lunch with a variety of hawker stalls, including the lor mee and a Malay nasi kandar stall which is rather popular (another post on another day).
Parking isn’t too hard to come by, and with plenty of trees around the premise, the restaurant is rather comfortable too.
plenty of extra ingredients for your choosing
The Lor Mee has been around since the independence of the country, and offers many add ons if you crave for extra porky goodness. This includes lor bak (卤肉), pig’s ear, 3-layer pork, pork knuckle, intestine, and so forth.
wholesome loh mee, we added some pork skin
For lunch, we ordered lor mee with pork skin. It comes with the usual ingredients of noodle and meehun, bean sprouts, pork slices, hard boiled eggs, and those thick, flavorful gravy. Splash some home made chili sauce and fresh garlic paste and you have a bowl of awesome hawker delights worthy of instagram, and your stomach.
Unlike most hawker stalls that offers lor mee in conjunction with Hokkien mee (also known as prawn mee), this stall specialized only on lor mee, all for RM 4 (small), and RM 5.50 (big). Of course, you pay a bit more for additional ingredients.
Now, I need to find a good version in KL.
Hainan Lor Mee
Kedai Kopi Hai Beng
Jones Road & Burma Road, Penang
It’s pretty much a truce that Penang offers one of the best hawker foods anywhere, you almost plan up a whole weeks’ itinerary filled with different hawker foods and never have to visit the same place twice. The problem is, what if you only have a day?
Well, to make your life simpler, here’s 5 different places you could visit in a single day to sample some of the best from Penang. Food portions on the island is usually not too big, so 5 meals a day is just about right for anyone with a normal appetite. For extra credit, you can always fit in another couple meals in between.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup at Kim Lee kopitiam
Breakfast starts at Kim Lee kopitiam. Ah Hai’s kuih teow soup starts at around 7:30 am and would operate around 3pm. The kuih teow soup here offers bouncy home made fish ball, delicious fish cake, slices of duck meat, and most importantly, coagulated duck blood, as the original recipe calls for.
This place has been in existence for some 60 years, and still offers one of the best kuih teow th’ng there is on the island.
Ah Hai kuih teow soup | Kedai Makanan Kim Lee, Lorong Macalister, Penang | 7:30 am to 3 pm
char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat – Ah Leng’s
For lunch, we continue keep our focus on kuih teow, but this time the fried version – the all important Penang char kuih teow.
While the two stalls at Lorong Selamat gets all the glitz and glamour, I find Ah Leng char kuih teow at Dato’ Keramat a more than worthy alternative. The fried kuih teow here has the customary huge prawns, lard, chives, duck egg, and for extras – mantis prawns (for RM 11 per plate). Pure ecstasy for those who loves this signature Penang dish.
Ah Leng char kuih teow | Kafe Khoon Hiang, 358 Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang | 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, closed on Thursdays
famous Balik Pulau laksa near the market
From Dato’ Keramat, drive up to Ayer Itam and through Payer Terubong to where the best laksa is found at Nang Guang kopitiam, Balik Pulau.
The asam laksa here comes in two different varieties, the usual asam style, and the richer lemak style, which is closer to the traditional Nyonya recipe. Neither would disappoint even the harshest laksa critics. The soup is flavorful and packed with fish meat, even the prawn paste has an extra kick to it.
If you’re to pack some for the journey back to Klang Valley (or anywhere else), they do it rather professionally with soup, prawn paste, and main ingredients all packed separately.
Balik Pulau Laksa | Nan Guang kopitiam, 67, Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000, Balik Pulau, Penang | Hours: morning to late lunch
mixed pork porridge at New Lane
In the evening, make your way back from Balik Pulau to the city center and stop by New Lane for something that isn’t readily associated with Penang – mixed pork porridge.
This is another stall that has been in business for decades and is still going strong as ever. A bowl of mixed pork porridge comes with delicious crispy intestine, pork tongue, slices of char siu, some spring onion, and pepper. Pretty simple list of ingredients, but one that tickles just the right spots on the tongue.
Pork Intestine Porridge (Chee Cheong Chock) | New Lane, Georgetown, Penang | Hours: from 6 pm till midnight
Green House hokkien mee and loh mee at Jalan Burma
For supper, head up just a few hundred meters to the East of New Lane to find the original Green House prawn mee stall at Jalan Burma.
This prawn mee and loh mee stall offers many ingredients you don’t typically find – home made fish ball, meat ball, sausage, pork skin, chicken feet, instine, and more can be added as extras to the prawn mee/loh mee for extra kicks. By default, they come with pork slices, prawns, hard boiled egg, fried shallots, and chili paste.
Green House hokkien mee | Jalan Burma, Georgetown, Penang (Opposite Chew Thean Yeang Aquarium) | Hours: dinner till late
Of course, I’ve missed out many other hawker stalls that are “must tries”, but if you have only 24 hours to go, this list should not disappoint. Happy eating!